deafweekly

 

August 8, 2007
Vol. 3 No. 21

Editor: Tom Willard

Deafweekly is an independent news report for the deaf and hard-of-hearing community that is mailed to subscribers every Wednesday and available to read at www.deafweekly.com. Please visit our website to read current and back issues, sign up for a subscription and advertise. Deafweekly is copyrighted 2007 and any unauthorized use, including reprinting of news, is prohibited. Please support our advertisers; they make it possible for you to receive Deafweekly at no charge.


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NATIONAL
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‘EERILY SIMILAR’ CRASHES CLAIM LIVES OF TWO BROTHERS

Two Apple Valley, Calif. brothers, described as “beloved members of the High Desert deaf community,” were killed in “eerily similar” motorcycle crashes two months apart, reported the Victorville Daily Press. Kenny McCarty died June 30 while leading a memorial ride for his brother Leroy, who was killed April 25. Both brothers died when they crashed their motorcycles into trucks that had slowed down in heavy traffic. Kenny was killed riding the same bike and wearing the same shirt that Leroy died in. Friends were left pondering a number of coincidences, including the death three years ago of Leroy’s son – who crashed his motorcycle into a truck.

ONE YEAR LATER, ANSWERS SOUGHT IN CYCLIST’S DEATH

A group of bicyclists held a memorial ride Sunday, July 29 for Ed Weiss, one year after the 50-year-old deaf Californian was struck and killed by a motorcycle. According to a lengthy report in the San Jose Mercury News, the unidentified motorcyclist has never been cited, arrested or charged in connection with the death. Pressure from the victim’s family, however, has kept the case from being closed. Weiss, a tree-trimmer who became deaf at age 27 when he fell 40 feet, rode every day in the hills around his Oakland home, said Rick Schiller, his brother. The Coroner’s Office ruled the death an accident, but Schiller believes it was caused by negligent behavior. He quit his job and has spent hundreds of hours seeking answers. “He’s my brother,” said Schiller. “I don’t have a choice in pursuing it as far as I can.”

GREGERSEN NAMED TO LEAD SOUTH DAKOTA SCHOOL

Terry Gregersen has been named the next superintendent of the South Dakota School for the Deaf, reported the Argus Leader. Gregersen, one of two finalists who visited the Sioux Falls campus July 23, starts the new job September 1. “I am deeply humbled and honored to have been selected,” Gregersen said, adding he looked forward to the challenges “but more to the possibilities” of his new position. Gregersen was the only deaf finalist, but Board of Regents Executive Director Tad Perry said, “The only thing was: Is this the person who can lead the school and do the best job?”

EXECUTION DATE SET IN 1986 KILLING

An execution date of October 25 was set July 30 by the Alabama Supreme Court for Danial Lee Siebert, 53, in the February 1986 strangulation death of Alabama School for the Deaf student Sherri Weathers, and her two sons, Chad, 5, and Joey, 4. The bodies went undiscovered in the victims’ Talladega apartment for several days, said the Associated Press, and Siebert led police on a manhunt through three states before being arrested in Tennessee six months later. Siebert, who was also convicted of killing Weathers’ neighbor, Linda Jarman, on the same night, has been on death row for 20 years. He has a federal lawsuit pending that challenges Alabama’s method of execution, saying the medication he takes could conflict with the lethal injection procedure and cause him severe pain.

SNIPER GETS 21 YEARS FOR ATTACK ON POLICE

A deaf Californian was sentenced July 27 to 21 years in prison for firing a rifle at sheriff’s deputies outside a Lancaster, Calif. car dealership in January 2006. Val Smith lived within sight of the dealership, said the Los Angeles Daily News, and police believe he fired a shot to lure deputies and then at least a dozen more after they arrived in force. Convicted in June of assault and shooting at the dealership, Smith pleaded no contest last week to an additional count of assault on a police officer. He must serve 85 percent of his sentence, but without the plea he could have faced life in prison. Smith, 37, was previously jailed for a 1992 Van Nuys killing.


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MICHIGAN MAN PLEADS GUILTY TO SHOOTING NEIGHBOR

A deaf Michigan man agreed to a plea deal for shooting his neighbor in exchange for a minimum 43 months in prison, said The Macomb Daily. Steven E. Marshall, 51, pled guilty to three charges but claimed he shot Jeffrey Hein in self defense. Hein, who spent several weeks in a hospital, is still recovering from a bullet wound to his stomach. Marshall’s sister, Sandra Marshall, said her brother had trouble understanding his lawyer, Randy Rodnick, and didn’t realize he would lose his right to a trial when he pleaded guilty. Rodnick, however, said he met with Marshall with an interpreter beforehand and “he had full knowledge of what was going on.”

ELDERLY MAN SHOOTS ATTACKER IN THROAT

An elderly hearing-impaired Arkansas man who was knocked unconscious by a robber awoke a short time later and shot the attacker in the throat. Willie Lee Hill, 93, confronted the robber in his El Dorado bedroom Wednesday night, July 25, and was struck at least 50 times by a man wielding a soda can, said the Associated Press. “I got what I deserved,” Douglas B. Williams Jr. told police, who found Hill’s hearing aids in the suspect’s pockets. Williams, 24, was listed in critical condition and was expected to face charges related to burglary, battery and theft. Officials at an El Dorado hospital refused to give Hill’s condition or say if he was released, citing confidentiality laws.

ILLINOIS MAN CHARGED WITH STARTING FIRE

Jason Earl Anderson, 27, of Rock Island, Ill., was arrested two weeks ago and charged with setting a nearby house on fire. Anderson, described by Quad Cities Online as “a deaf mute,” was arrested for one of three fires that occurred within 30 minutes early Saturday morning and is a suspect in the other two. Two of the fires involved burning materials on the porches that were kicked off by a passerby, averting substantial damage, while the third fire was a “pretty extensive” blaze in a detached garage. Anderson faces charges of aggravated arson, a Class X felony, and is being held at Rockland County Jail on $50,000 bond with a preliminary hearing set for August 7.

BURGLAR PRIES OPEN BOX, STEALS OVER $10,000

A deaf grocery store worker from Boyce, La. had her house broken into and more than $10,000 stolen, said KALB-TV. Clara Jones had inherited the money from her mother and planned to use it for her daughter Jennifer’s college fund. Jones kept the money in a fireproof box, but the house was ransacked and the box was pried open and left on a bed. Jones said the family has had a tough time making ends meet and now doesn’t know how Jennifer will be able to attend college.

ADVOCATES TO MEET WITH HOSPITAL SYSTEM

Deaf community members in Cleveland, Ohio were scheduled to meet last week with Lake Hospital System officials after a series of problems obtaining interpreters, reported The Plain Dealer, One case involved a doctor who wrote notes on a box of tissues, while another concerned a deaf man whose 12-year-old daughter learned he had cancer when she had to interpret. Heather West, executive director of the Deaf and Deaf-Blind Committee on Human Rights, said the group has received complaints about Lake Hospital System facilities from at least a dozen people. Spokeswoman Julieann Strogin said the hospital system is eager to address the issue and hoped the advocacy group could recommend other resources to serve deaf and deaf-blind patients.


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INTERNATIONAL
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SETTLEMENT ANNOUNCED IN MOVIE CAPTION COMPLAINT

A settlement was announced two week ago in an Ontario Human Rights Commission complaint between three deaf Canadians and several film exhibitors and distributors. The settlement calls for the phasing in of new closed captioning systems in multiple Ontario theaters, said a news release. A number of new technologies are under development, but if they don’t become commercially available the exhibitors have agreed to use Rear Window Captioning or open captioning. The complaint was filed by Ottawa lawyer Scott Simser, master’s student Nancy Barker, and former Member of Provincial Parliament Gary Malkowski. The new captioning systems “will offer a better movie-going experience,” said Allison Taylor on behalf of the exhibitors.

DEAF TOUR GUIDE MAKES HEADLINES IN CANADA

The Ottawa Citizen ran a story recently on Victoria LeBlanc, 21, one of two deaf tour guides at Laurier House, a national historic site in Ottawa, Ont., Canada. Both were hired through a pilot project of the Young Canada Works program. “We’ve learned so much,” said Laurier House manager Anne-Marie Johnson. “They make us aware of things because we don’t live in that culture.” Visitors are sometimes confused by a guide who uses sign language and has a voice interpreter. Sometimes they say they don’t need sign language, said LeBlanc, and she replies, “It’s for me. I’m deaf.”

JOB SEEKER FINDS TROUBLE AT JOB CENTER

A deaf Yarmouth, England woman is considering legal action after workers at an employment center refused to make a phone call on her behalf, said Great Yarmouth Mercury. Rosa Pereira, 51, visited the Jobcentre in Great Yarmouth last month to apply for two positions, but staff said they could not make calls for her because she was already employed. Department for Work and Pensions spokeswoman Natalie Jones admitted that the workers had erred but denied that any discrimination took place. Nicola Pazdzierska of the Disability Rights Commission advised Pereira to contact the county court about taking legal action.

WOMAN, 108, TOLD OF 18-MONTH WAIT FOR HEARING AID

The Daily Mail reported July 29 that a 108-year-old British woman was told she will have to wait at least 18 months to get a new hearing aid. Olive Beal’s five-year-old analog hearing aid has been giving her problems and she hopes a new digital aid will help eliminate background noise. But health workers told the former piano teacher she would have to wait at least a year and a half to upgrade. ‘I could be dead by then,” said Beal. Two days later, a local audiologist stepped in and presented Beal with a new hearing aid. “She will now be able to hear a great deal better,” Phillip Ball told The Mirror.

NEW PLAY, ‘PLAYING GOD,’ MAKES DEBUT IN LONDON

“Playing God,” a new play from London’s Deafinitely Theatre, tells the story of a deaf couple who wrestle with the issue of whether to get their 4-year-old daughter a cochlear implant. According to a review in This is London, protagonists John and Emma, both deaf, have no qualms about how to raise Ruby until ear surgeon Alex persuades Emma that Ruby must have an implant if she is to develop her speech. The play is hindered by Rebecca Atkinson’s “somewhat simplistic script” and director Paula Garfield’s “rather stilted” approach, wrote the reviewer, but the parallel use of signed and spoken language is a “neat dramatic device that raises questions about what actually constitutes language.”

GRANDMOTHER ‘BEST ACTRESS’ IN NEW ZEALAND FEST

Fifteen films from throughout New Zealand will be screened this month at the Deaf Short Film Festival, said the Whangarei Leader. Deaf grandmother and award-winning actress Hilda Tamepo, starring in “Goodbye Buzzy,” was named best actress in the competition. Tamepo said she was pleased to win the $500 award because playing a dying woman was difficult. “When I saw my body dead in the movie it made me cry,” she said. The challenging role also called for her to swim in the ocean for the first time and roll down a sand dune. The film festival takes place August 15, but Tamepo is already working on a script for the next competition, set for 2009.

CHINESE RED CROSS HELPS NEEDY DEAF CHILDREN

The Chinese Red Cross Foundation announced last month that it has donated 1.1 million yuan ($144,000 US) to help 30 deaf children from needy families, reported Xinhua. The money will be used for unspecified surgeries and recovery fees, said CRCF secretary Wang Ruipeng. China has more than 800,000 deaf children, with about 30,000 more added every year. CRCF set up a fund named Angel’s Echo last May to help deaf children and has already raised nearly 3.3 million yuan ($432,000 US), though Wang said more donations are needed.


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LIFE & LEISURE
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DEAF HOPE PRESENTED WITH NEW CHEVY VAN

An international women’s business group based in Dallas, Texas presented a brand new Chevy Express Van at a July 19 ceremony to Deaf Hope, an Oakland, Calif. nonprofit that works to end domestic violence and sexual assault against deaf women and children. “We are honored to play a small part in the future success of Deaf Hope,” said Sandra Yancey, founder and CEO of the eWomenNetwork Foundation in a news release. Deaf Hope will also receive a year’s worth of insurance from Ameriprise Auto & Home, gasoline, four years of cost-free maintenance and office supplies from Office Depot. “I am overwhelmed by the generosity and outpouring of support shown by these remarkable women,” said Julie Rems-Smario, Deaf Hope’s executive director.

DEAF PILOTS FOUNDER ENJOYS BASH AT HOME BASE

Clyde Smith, a retired Illinois School for the Deaf teacher who founded the Deaf Pilots Association after earning his pilot’s license 17 years ago, enjoyed the fruits of his efforts at his home base June 21 during a fly-in social event at Jacksonville (Ill.) Airport. About 75 people attended the event, said the State Journal-Register, including pilots from the U.S. and Europe who were in the area for the 14th annual DPA fly-in, held this year in St. Charles, Mo. The Deaf Pilots Association has about 150 members, said Smith, of whom 35 are pilots. One member, Mark Stern of California, flew to 48 states in 48 days in 2004, said Smith.

HYBRIDS HAVE A PROBLEM – THEY’RE TOO QUIET

The Toronto Star ran an article July 16 on an unexpected drawback to hybrid cars: they don’t make any noise. Hybrids are so quiet in electric mode that “they pose a new hazard to people who are blind or hard of hearing,” said John Rae, president of the Alliance for Equality of Blind Canadians. The Baltimore-based National Federation of the Blind runs a website on the subject – quietcars.nfb.org – and wants auto makers to “add a sound that’s inoffensive but useful,” said Deborah Kent Stein, head of the group’s auto and pedestrian safety committee. Auto makers, who use silence as a selling point, have no plans to add sound. “We have to balance the needs of sight-impaired people and pedestrians with other societal concerns like noise pollution,” said a Toyota Canada spokesperson.

WIKIPEDIA COMMUNITY DEBATES ASL

Should American Sign Language be recognized as an official language on the popular Wikipedia.org website? That is the topic of discussion currently underway here. Along with discussions of SignWriting and ASL video practicalities, visitors are asked to “provide arguments or reasons and be prepared to defend them.” Sample pro: “Deaf people all over the world can have access to information in their own language.” Sample con: “This is not a language, just a means of communication.”


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WORKING WORLD
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SPRINT VRS SIGNS CONTRACT WITH HOVRS

A “new and improved” Sprint Video Relay Service (SprintVRS) was announced in a July 6 news release. Sprint recently signed a new contract with Hands On Video Relay Services, Inc. (HOVRS) and promises better video quality, expert interpreters, Spanish-speaking interpreters, Voice Carry Over (VCO), 24/7 service and more. “This is a major step forward in providing services for our customers,” said Mike Ligas, director of Sprint Relay. Ed Routhier, chairman and president of Rockland, Calif.-based HOVRS, said his company was “the best partner to uphold the brand promise Sprint has made to its customers.” The new Videophone IP is www.sprintrelay.tv and more information can be found here or here.

UNCG GETS $800,000 TO PREPARE 38 INTEPRETERS

The U.S. Department of Education has awarded $800,000 to the University of North Carolina at Greensboro to help prepare educational interpreters with the four-year degree they will need for state licensure as of 2012. Mary Compton, a UNCG professor of education and principal investigator for the project, noted in a news release that only 200 interpreters in North Carolina have passed the currently required exam and only 40 of those 200 have bachelor’s degrees. Project CONNECT will prepare 38 interpreters over the next four years and will be the only four-year interpreting program in the state. For information, contact Compton at 336-334-3771 or mvcompto@uncg.edu.

SNAP ORDERS 10,000 OJO PHONES TO FILL BACKLOG

A news release issued June 20 in Trevose, Pa. and Pearl River, N.Y. said WorldGate Communications and Snap Telecommunications plan “to become the premier providers of technology and services” to the deaf community. Snap provides Video Relay Services using a device called Ojo, which it gives out free to its customers, and said in the release that is has placed an order for 10,000 Ojos to fill a current backlog of requests. The two companies will identify the most desired Ojo features and capabilities to “provide the best video phone experience for the VRS user community.” To learn more, visit http://www.snapvrs.com.


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New! Sony Technology for Teaching and Learning ASL

SANS Inc. is the exclusive licensor and developer of the Sony Virtuoso™ and Soloist Language Learning Instructional Software. With our software plug-ins for ASL and video camera, teachers and students can now easily communicate visually in an instructional classroom. Students are able to view lessons and digitally record their responses. Each student’s work can be saved in a LAN folder, reviewed, and assessed by the instructor at any time --- eliminating the need to lug stacks of video tapes! Contact us at sales@sansinc.com to arrange an on-site demo or visit at www.sansinc.com.

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Save 10% off All VCO phones from WCI!

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ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT
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CSDR STUDENT CHOSEN FOR LEAD IN ‘DUMMY’

A 19-year-old Californian was picked for the role of William Ellsworth "Dummy" Hoy in the upcoming film “Dummy” after filmmaker David Risotto saw his picture in the California School for the Deaf–Riverside yearbook. Ryan Lane was nearly perfect for the part despite having no acting experience, Risotto told The Press-Enterprise. Over five days of filming, Risotto transformed Lane into Dummy Hoy, a major league outfielder for 14 seasons (1888-1902) and one of professional baseball’s first deaf players. Lane took the role despite narrowly surviving a dirt-bike crash last September that kept him in a body brace for four months. His mother Jill was on the set to make sure “he wasn’t sliding into bases and swinging the bat too hard and compromising his recovery.”

WEBSITE OFFERS CAPTIONED FILM TRAILERS

Captioned films have been commonplace in movie theaters for years, but film trailers continue to be released without captions. A U.K. website helps to solve this problem by offering trailers with open captioning for a number of current and popular films, including Transformers, The Simpsons Movie and Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. YourLocalCinema.com, which bills itself as “The one stop shop for accessible cinema,” also contains information on audio described cinema for visually impaired people. To go straight to the film trailer’s page, click here.

INTERPRETER MAKES COUNTRY JAM ACCESSIBLE

Everyone at this year’s Country Jam in Eau Claire, Wisc. was able to understand what the performers were signing about, a “first” attributed by WEAU-TV to interpreter Colleen Cudo. Cudo, who has been coming to the Jam for years, noticed a few deaf fans at last year’s event with no one to interpret for them and “got right to work.” She proposed to Country Jam organizers that she become an official interpreter and they were excited by the idea. Since then, Cudo has put in 200 hours of practice to ensure the deaf fans will get “the same experience that you and I get coming here.”

FLORIDA THEATER SEEKS SEVERAL DEAF ACTORS

New Theatre in Coral Gables, Fla. is seeking deaf actresses for a play called “Fill Our Mouths.” Written by Lauren Feldman, the play tells the story of Evan and Chap, two young woman – one hearing, one hard-of-hearing – who meet in the streets of Paris. According to a Call for Deaf Actresses, Fill Our Mouths “is a story of love and choice, deafness and hearing, the trials of communication, and the search for self when caught between two worlds.” In addition to the two leads, roles for a deaf female, hearing male and female voice are also available. Rehearsals begin December 17 and the show is slated to run for 23 performances between January 10 and February 10. To learn more, contact director Ricky Martinez at RJMartinez@New-Theatre.org.


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Potomac Technology 20th Anniversary Celebration Continues!

We’re celebrating our 20th anniversary in a big way! All Ultratec text telephones (TTYs) are 20% off during August. Whatever your situation, we’ve got a full selection of TTYs to meet your needs. Our customer service team is here to help you pick out the one that’s perfect for you. (use code “PTEC807D” to receive this special pricing). Call us now at 1-800-433-2838 (V/TTY) or visit online at http://www.potomactech.com.

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SPORTS
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SOFTBALL GAMES TO BE BROADCAST LIVE ON NET

Live coverage of this Saturday’s (August 11) National Softball Association of the Deaf’s Women’s and Men’s Championship games will be broadcast live from Dayton, Ohio on the Internet at http://www.csd.tv, an exclusive service of CSD. The women’s game begins at 12:45 p.m. EST and the men’s game begins at 3:30 p.m. EST. A half-hour pregame show will precede each game. Afterwards, CSD plans to sell DVDs of each game for $10, with a portion of proceeds going to the NSAD.

OKLAHOMA’S VAN ZANT FEELS ‘YELLING AND STOMPING’

The Kansas City Star caught up recently with college football player Martel Van Zant, a 6-foot-1, 215-pound senior at Oklahoma State who has been “in a world of silence since birth.” Van Zant said he can’t hear a thing and only feels vibrations “when everybody’s yelling and stomping on the stands.” He’s followed to team meetings, film reviews, practice and games by interpreter Allie Lee, who acts as an unintentional buffer between Van Zant and defensive coordinator Tim Beckman. Beckman, said Van Zant, is “really loud [and has] spit coming out of his mouth and everything.”


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COMING EVENTS
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SEVENTH SEAPORT DEAF FESTIVAL SET FOR AUGUST 19

For the seventh year, deaf people in New York City and environs will gather together for the Seaport Deaf Festival in lower Manhattan. Organized by Al Lepre, the event offers DJ Supa with his company, Deaf United Entertainment, with performers Reggae Dance Evolution, DJ Supalee, Double Up, Wild Zappers, Helix Boys and Deaf Rave, a London group making their first appearance in the U.S. A free drawing for brand new Mini Cooper car sponsored by i711 is a highlight of the event. The festival is set for Sunday, August 19 from 10 a.m to 6 p.m., with free admission, door prizes and about 50 exhibit booths. It takes place at the South Street Seaport, Fulton and South Streets in Manhattan. Click here for directions. Vendors can contact Lepre at allepre@aol.com.


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EMPLOYMENT
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You can advertise your job openings here for just $20 a week (up to 100 words, 10 cents each add'l word) and reach nearly 7,000 Deafweekly subscribers. Our website gets an additional 3,000+ page views each week. Start spreading the news! To place your ad, send the announcement to mail@deafweekly.com.

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JOB OPPORTUNITIES AT GLAD

GLAD is an Affirmative Action Employer with equal opportunity for men, women and people with disabilities. For more information on the following positions, please go to: www.gladinc.org. The status of all positions is: Regular, Full-time, Non-Exempt, Full Fringe Benefits unless otherwise noted. All positions are open until filled.

Regional Director – Riverside
Director of LIFESIGNS – Los Angeles
Community Interpreter 1 – Riverside
Community Interpreter 2 (3 positions open) – Riverside
Lead Dispatcher – Los Angeles
Hard of Hearing Specialist – Riverside
Hard of Hearing Specialist (Temporary) – Los Angeles
Community Advocate (Part-time) – Riverside
Community Advocate – Los Angeles
Community Health Educator – Los Angeles

If interested for any of these positions then please submit resume and application to:

Jeff Fetterman
Human Resources Specialist
Greater Los Angeles Agency on Deafness, Inc.
2222 Laverna Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90041
V/TDD: (323) 550-4207
Fax #: (323)550-4204
E-mail: jfetterman@gladinc.org

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EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITY

Position: Product Manager, Relay Services
Location: Hackensack, NJ

This position is responsible for managing the company’s product portfolio of new and existing Internet-based relay products, services, features and platforms, in timely response to customer, market, competitive, and operational requirements.

This position includes the following responsibilities: (i) manage new and existing relay product/service offerings for deaf and hard-of-hearing customers; (ii) drive product/service development/management process within the company and with outside vendors, producing and iterating specifications throughout; (iii) develop and implement customer research and cultivate first-hand understanding of customers; (iv) monitor product/service performance and drive product/service lifecycle changes as required; (v) participate in development and management of overall customer communications strategy and customer/trade promotion strategy; (vi) develop pricing/offers and pursue initiatives for new business development. This position reports to the Vice President of Product Management.

QUALIFICATIONS:

Technical or marketing degree with 4-6 years of product management experience; telecommunications or hearing/speech industry experience desirable
Ideal candidate must enjoy technology and its use in building bridges among the Deaf, hard of hearing, and hearing communities
PC literate for analyses and forecasts/budgets
Able to juggle multiple projects & changing priorities with enthusiasm; be able to give clear direction to ensure deadlines are met and quality results are achieved
Excellent verbal, written and presentation skills
Attention to detail and accuracy
Work with minimal supervision to coordinate activities with internal departmental staff and contractors
Knowledge of or interest in people with hearing loss; American Sign Language conversational abilities very desirable, or willingness to learn required
Ability to travel, especially on weekends, required

Application deadline: Until filled

Please submit your resume or application to: hr@goamerica.com

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EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITY

Position: Product Manager, Hard of Hearing Products & Services
Location: Hackensack, NJ

This position is responsible for managing the company’s portfolio of new and existing products and services geared to, but not limited to, the Hard of Hearing market (e.g., hearing-aid compatible mobile phones, Internet-based captioned telephone service, voice carry over services), in timely response to customer, market, competitive, and operational requirements.

This position includes the following responsibilities: (i) develop, recommend, and implement strategic/tactical product/service offerings primarily targeting (but not limited to) the Hard of Hearing Market; (ii) manage new and existing product/service offerings for hard-of-hearing customers; (iii) drive Hard of Hearing product/service development/management process within the company and with outside vendors, producing and iterating specifications throughout; (iv) develop and implement customer research and cultivate first-hand understanding of customers; (v) monitor Hard of Hearing product/service performance and drive product/service lifecycle changes as required; (vi) participate in development and management of overall customer communications strategy and customer/trade promotion strategy; (vii) develop pricing/offers and pursue initiatives for new business development. This position reports to the Vice President of Product Management.

QUALIFICATIONS:

Technical or marketing degree with 4-6 years of product management experience; telecommunications or hearing/speech industry experience desirable
Ideal candidate must enjoy technology and its use in building bridges among the Deaf, hard of hearing, and hearing communities
PC literate for analyses and forecasts/budgets
Able to juggle multiple projects & changing priorities with enthusiasm; be able to give clear direction to ensure deadlines are met and quality results are achieved
Excellent verbal, written and presentation skills
Attention to detail and accuracy
Work with minimal supervision to coordinate activities with internal departmental staff and contractors
Knowledge of or interest in people with hearing loss; American Sign Language conversational abilities very desirable, or willingness to learn required
Ability to travel, especially on weekends, required

Application deadline: Until filled

Please submit your resume or application to: hr@goamerica.com

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INDEPENDENT CONTRACTORS NEEDED

Position: i711 Relay Specialist
Location: Hackensack, NJ

We are seeking independent contractors to help drive i711 relay services revenue by assisting customers with installing required hardware and/or software and by providing remote and/or onsite customer training to ensure positive, sustained, and increasing customer usage of i711 relay services.

i711 Relay Specialists have the following responsibilities, among others: (1) complete an assigned number of remote installations of i711 VRS per month; (2) review and approve customer applications for webcams, and conduct follow up interactions with customers until installation and usage is confirmed; (3) provide technical assistance to customers requiring help in setting up webcams, updating their videophone directories, and placing VRS calls; (4) participate in trade shows and community events, with an emphasis on qualifying prospects, capturing installation leads, and arranging for fulfillment; (5) provide remote and/or onsite customer education and training on using i711 relay services; and (6) provide, on an escalation basis, second-tier customer support and/or technical assistance to relay users, in collaboration with the Customer Support team.

QUALIFICATIONS:

4-year college degree or equivalent experience in a sales-, technical-, or community-related field
Self-starter with firsthand experience and knowledge of what it takes to “sell” relay services in a highly-competitive marketplace
Able to work effectively both in a team environment and independently, with minimal supervision
Demonstrates strong interpersonal, communication, and presentation/teaching skills
Able to multi-task effectively in a fast paced environment, with strong follow-through on a wide variety of details
Demonstrates strong analytical, problem-solving, and decision-making skills
Able to travel to and from customer premises by private car and/or public transit
Able to work on a flexible schedule in order to meet sales and customer needs (some weekend and evening work time required)
Able to read and write large volumes of email and instant messages (IM)
Knowledge of or interest in people with hearing loss and communication challenges
Conversational fluency in American Sign Language (ASL)
3 years experience with Microsoft Windows, Microsoft Office applications, and with using the Internet
Troubleshooting experience on PC and Macintosh; desktop support certification a plus
Technical experience with videophones, webcams, videoconferencing software, residential firewalls/routers, and wireless devices, or willingness and aptitude to learn
Experience presenting product information directly to end-user customers
Experience working in a customer service role preferred

Application deadline: Until filled

Please submit your resume or application to: hr@goamerica.com

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